UPDATE: Literally as I was posting this article, word came down that Justice Alito rejected the plea of the PA GOP to preserve their unconstitutional congressional map. Republicans are running out of legal options to forestall the loss of their precious map. Now we’ll see if they resort to illegal options and prove to the world just how little they care about democracy.
A little over two weeks ago, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court handed the Republican Party a stinging defeat as it declared their partisan gerrymandered congressional map to be in gross violation of Pennsylvania’s constitution. In a state with a roughly even split of Democratic and Republican voters, the GOP has gerrymandered the map so badly that they keep “winning” 13 of the 18 seats. A fairly drawn map would cost them 3-4 seats and that’s before the coming wave election in November.
Republicans, of course, are having none of this and have asked the Supreme Court of the United States to override a state Supreme Court:
Republican lawmakers and some Republican voters have asked the US Supreme Court to take the unusual step of putting the state high court’s order on hold, and Justice Samuel Alito asked parties in the case to respond to the stay request by Friday afternoon.
“Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court has held that the 2011 map ‘clearly, plainly and palpably’ violates Pennsylvania’s Constitution,” lawyers for the League of Women Voters wrote in opposing the stay request on Friday. “It would be unprecedented for this Court to interfere with the state court’s determination about its own state’s law.”
Remember, Republicans are the party that allegedly believe in “state’s rights” above all else. At least when a Democrat (specifically a black one) is president. The idea of asking the Supreme Court to essentially override their own state constitution for purely partisan gain should be astonishing.
But it’s not. At all.
If it’s not blindingly obvious by now, the Republican Party has abandoned any pretense of being faithful to the concept of democracy. They do not care about the Constitution except for when they can use it as a weapon against their enemies. They do not care about the rule of law, our traditions, our political norms, or our democratic institutions. They care about seizing and holding power by any means necessary and they will tell any lie or flip flop on every core principle they once claimed to have in order to do it.
It’s unclear that the Supreme Court will hear the case or how they will rule on it if they do. Not all of the conservative justices are as corrupt as the GOP so this might be their way of codifying that these kinds of challenges will not be entertained down the road as Republican gerrymandering continues to be struck down by state supreme courts. Or they might take the opportunity to cement the illegitimate power Republicans have stolen from the people. It’s hard to know.
What is easy to know is that the GOP, once again, is more than willing to discard one of their (allegedly) most cherished core values if it keeps them in power for just a little longer. At the end of the day, that’s all you really need to understand about how dangerous they’ve become to the future of American democracy.
I’m a stay at home dad, father to a special needs son and a special daughter, a donor baby daddy, a militantly pragmatic liberal, the president of the PTA, a hardcore geek and nerd and I’m going to change the world. Or at least my corner of it.